Changing of the guard at county manager’s office
Douglas County Manager Steve Mokrohisky participated in his last monthly question and answer forum online on The Record-Courier’s daily Running Commentary on Wednesday along with interim County Manager Larry Werner. Anyone with questions is welcome to participate in the next forum by sending questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Larry, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: Hello everyone. I’m excited to be here with you and to serve our community as interim county manager for the next several months. I am a long time Douglas County resident. With the exception of a few years in the Seattle area, my wife and I have lived in northern Nevada our whole lives. I have had the pleasure to work in and with local government for over 40 years. I have a background in engineering in the public and private sectors, and I most recently served as Carson City manager from 2008 to 2013. My wife Marie and I have two grown sons and two granddaughters.
Q: Lucy of Pleasantview asks about the speed limit on Drayton. “We use this road often to get to town, as do a lot of other residents. 25 mph seems extremely low for a road that has no residences, no driveways, and provides a very wide shoulder. 38 mph was deemed as the norm. Given the conditions of the roadway and the lack of residential activities is this speed really warranted? Can you please explain this? In relation to this what is the planned speed limit for the continuation of Drayton?”
A: Douglas County Code establishes the speed limit for all roads within a general improvement district as 25 mph. Drayton is a county maintained road that is within the boundaries of the Gardnerville Ranchos GID and therefore subject to the 25 mph requirement. Additionally, we received feedback from a number of residents who live off of Drayton and requested that the speed limit be posted at 25 mph due to pedestrian and traffic safety concerns in the area. The speed limit for the continuation of Drayton would be 25 mph as determined by the county code, unless otherwise authorized by the board of county commissioners, which would require an amendment to the Code.
Q: PT would like to know when work on Vista Grande in Indian Hills will begin? What’s the status of connecting the road from Jacks Valley to Topsy.
A: Last week, the board of commissioners, serving in its capacity as the board for the redevelopment agency, approved funding the Vista Grande Enhancement Project, which includes the reconstruction of Vista Grande south of Mica Drive to approximately Amador Circle, with redevelopment agency funds. We anticipate that design and engineering of the project will begin this summer, and the majority of the construction will occur during the summer of 2015. A significant portion of the unimproved section of Vista Grande, which runs from Jacks Valley north to Topsy Lane, is US Forest Service land. Douglas County does not yet have an easement on the USFS land, but we are seeking to acquire the parcel as part of our federal lands bill.
Q: When will Muller Lane open over the Virginia Ditch?
A: The project that completes Muller Parkway across the Virginia Canal, connecting Pinenut Road to Grant Avenue, is being paved today. We expect the crossing to be open within the next two weeks.
Q: What is the status of the pipeline between Minden and Carson?
A: The North County Waterline Intertie project is substantially complete and operational. Douglas County has been delivering water to Carson City for the past couple months. The booster pump station, located at the Sunridge Golf Course, is also operational and in the final stages of testing and acceptance.
Q: Have you heard what the third business will be in the old Scolari’s?
A: We have approved a building permit for Grocery Outlet and Bealls for their tenant improvements. We have not recieved plans for any improvements in the third space that is available in the old Scolari’s.
Q: Any other news about businesses coming to Carson Valley?
A: There is a 20,000 square feet expansion of a manufacturing facility for Pacific Radomes in the Carson Valley Business Park that has an approved building permit and expected to begin construction any day now. Additionally, Lake Tahoe is going to be very busy this summer and fall with building projects. We currently are reviewing the Horizon major remodel permits and should issue the demo permit very soon. We met with representatives from Mont Bleu last week and they are planning a complete renovation of all 440 rooms as well as a remodel of their convention area. Construction is planned to start right after Labor Day. Edgewood is planning a 186,000 square foot lodge with 154 hotel rooms, a parking garage, 40 units of time share condos and a 9,000 square foot addition to the existing clubhouse. In short, we have a lot of positive economic activity in the Valley and Lake.
Q: Thom of Minden says thanks for getting the Senior and Community Center project finally started and good luck in Oregon.
Is the discussion between the county and FEMA about the flood plain still being persued and what is the status? If it has been resolved, when will the residents of the county know the results? And, will we be told if we can recoup the flood insurance premiums if we are now outside the flood plain?
A: Douglas County has submitted revised floodplain mapping for Sunrise, Buckbrush, Johnson Lane and Buckeye Creek for FEMA’s review and approval. FEMA has indicated it will allow for an expedited review process of the revised maps. FEMA has also indicated that if the floodplain changes within your annual policy you may be refunded for that policy, but not for prior years flood insurance. Douglas County will notify affected residents when the new maps are approved by FEMA.
Q: Bob asks “What do you think the biggest challenge will be for the next county manager?”
A: Douglas County is in good shape, but there are some challenges ahead, including continued investment in infrastructure, revitalization of the Minden-Gardnerville main street and Tahoe’s South Shore, future investment in employees, maintaining strong financial sustainability over the long term, and continuing to pursue excellence. Larry Werner will do a great job keeping the organization running smooth and ensuring a strong transition process. The board, staff and community will also need to identify a strong leader as its next county manager, which I am confident they will do. Douglas County has a very bright future.